A contractual brief is where an agreement is decided as a specific task. This task is
given a specific time period for the company to complete it in for a set fee, and
this is all agreed in advance.
Advantages about this is everything is drawn up in writing, so everything is clear and
there should be no confusion. This is also legally binding so if either side breaches
the contract then the contract enables the victims to take the other party to court
and get justice.
Some contracts can be long winded and this may put people off reading all of it and
signing it regardless of what is in it. This can mean some companies not being paid
and not being able to take legal action because their signature has been signed
meaning they have read, understood and agreed to the contract.
A client produces and gives a media company a brief that tells the company exactly what
the client wants from the company and what they want them to do. The brief contains
all the essential information for the company to produce the product how the client
wants it. Other negotiations and additional information is notified and agreed by the
client and company later on.
There is more flexibility and room for changes when a formal brief has been drawn up.
There is also more input from the company, with their experience they can put their
own experience into practice by giving ideas to the client that they can decline or
accept. Everything is formally agreed so there is no confusion.
The main disadvantage with this formal brief is that it may not always be legally binding and
clients may be able to get away with tricking the company so the company doesn’t end
up getting paid and there is nothing the company can do because the law wasn’t
involved and nothing was signed.
This is a verbal agreement between a client and company, nothing is written down and
no documents are signed. The client and company discuss and agree on the
project and the tasks in hand, but there may not be a deadline or a completion
It is more flexible, the company may be able to choose the way they want to run the
project and what goes on and what becomes of the end product.
There is no written formal agreement, so there may be misunderstandings that
haven’t been cleared or by either party so the end product may come out
incorrect according to the client. It is also not legally binding and there is no
evidence a case couldn’t be taken to court and the client could get away with not
paying the company etc.
This is where 2 or more companies are hired to work together on one specific brief.
They have to come together and work everything out collectively to complete the
There are more people working on it so there will be more ideas and more
perspectives on the project, there will also be more people so the project may be
The two companies may have very different visions and ideas on how the project
should be run and how it should turn out, and if the company can’t agree then an
appease has to be submitted to each company. This can be time consuming and
delays the project being completed.
This is where two or more media companies are working on a project but there are
conflicting ideas and they don’t agree of the end result. So the negotiation would
happen to the brief and the end result would be changed in order to appease the
client and the companies working on the brief. The changes that could happen
involve visual style, changing content, or changing the product so that it stays
within the boundaries of legal obligation.
This ensures that all parties in the project are happy with what they have to do and
what they are involved in. This means the product will turn out more accurate.
Both parties actually have to agree and be happy with the changes and negotiations
before the project can continue. It may take time for parties to decide so there
may be delay in the project.
This is where a large company hires a smaller, independent to create a specific part of
the product for them. The brief is negotiated with the two different companies
rather than the client being involved. The product made by the smaller company is
then used in the final product. The larger company pay the smaller company as
necessary and potentially they are also a part of the final profit that the larger
Smaller businesses get profit and funding for bigger projects, which keeps people in
Larger companies could under pay and take advantage of smaller companies that may
not have a lot of experience.
This is where a client publishes what they need in a media product and what they
need to be made. Lots of production companies enter a brief to the client to try
and secure the project the client has given out.
This is good for the client, meaning they get a lot of opportunity to be able to view all
of the talent and different companies, looking at their skills and styles, being able
to compare different companies.
If the client is not very well known, if the client didn’t advertise enough or just people
didn’t see the advertisement. This means that there is no guarantee of a company
taking up this project. Also the client may have no experience with a certain
company so they don’t know whether the company produces quality work or the
exact outcome they want.
A brief is put out to companies to participate in like a competition, then each company
completes the brief and then each finished product is judged by the client and the
one the client likes the best is awarded to have that product published. These
briefs are usually free to enter competitions, and the client have to pay the
The advantages of this is that there will be quite a lot of different companies
competing and sending in their product so their will be a lot of different variety
and differences in styles that will range across each companies product.
The disadvantages of this is that the companies may not enter the competition
especially if there is an entry fee and difficult requirements to meet, or if the
companies don’t think the prize money is worth all the effort.
Which type of brief is being used in the recipe card project? Explain your response.
The type of brief we have been given for this project is a Formal brief. A Formal brief
means that the brief is written for the client including basic information about
what they would like done, though unlike a Contractual brief nothing is signed and
there is much more discussion between client and producer about what they
would like. I think that the brief for this project is Formal as nothing has been
signed, though a rough idea about what the client would like has been written
Reading the Brief
Why is important to thoroughly read your brief?
It is important to thoroughly read the brief to make sure that you are capable of completing the
project asked of you, and in the time scale required. By reading it thoroughly and checking
the brief for aspects that you may struggle with you can then either negotiate with the client
to come to a more suitable agreement, or back out of doing the project all together to avoid
wasting money on completing the project when the client may not be completely happy with
it and will not pay for it. If the brief is competition brief, or tender brief then reading the brief
thoroughly making sure that you are doing exactly what the client has asked, to give you the
best chance at beating the competition and getting your services paid for.
Reading the Brief
What is the nature of the Vegetarian Recipe Cards brief?
The clients brief says that we should use their branding strip that contains their logo some where
on our cards. On the front we also need to include an image and the title. We need to use
recycled, stiff paper and vegetable inks. Make sure that the cards are laminated as well,
preferably with biodegradable laminate. All recipes must be vegetarian, some should be
vegan. The brief also says that on the card you must include serving number, preparation
time, cooking time and vegan suitability.
What is the demand of the Vegetarian Recipe Cards brief?
The brief demands that we have 9 weeks to complete the project.
Negotiating a Brief
Why is it important to discuss the brief with your client prior to production?
It is important to discuss the brief with the client prior to starting the project to check with them
that you have understood the brief correctly. It may cost the company a lot to complete the
project and find out it was wrong all along. It is also important to raise any concerns you may
have about time or anything else, to see if the client can make any adjustments for you. It is
also important to get more detail on the brief if it is contractual or formal. By talking face to
face with the client they are able to go into more detail on the things asked in the brief so
you can have a clearer understanding of what they would like.
Negotiating a Brief
What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing discretion with a brief?
Discretion means to do something slightly different from what the brief says, such as using a
different type of paper or using a different layout to what they wanted.
An advantage of this is that you may be able to cut corners to make the project cheaper for the
company. It also allows you some creative freedom, enabling you to add your own creative
stamp onto the product. Though a major disadvantage is that the client may no longer want
to use your product, and then the company doesn’t get paid at all.
Negotiating a Brief
Are there any potential legal/ethical/regulatory issues with the Vegetarian Society brief’s
As all their products aim to be animal and environmentally friendly there are no ethical cases. The
card to print on must be 100% recycled, the ink must be vegetable ink and all the food must
be vegetarian and vegan. One slight issue is with laminating. They said they would prefer the
laminate to be biodegradable though it is expensive so that may not be possible.
I cannot see any legal or regulatory issues coming up with this project however. When using there
logo I will have the clients full permission so that I no copyright issues will come up.
Negotiating a Brief
Amendments you have considered to;
For the finished product I think I will stick to all of the requirements given in the brief. The brief
allows us a lot of creative freedom and I do not feel like changing any of the requirements on
the product written in the brief would benefit me or the product in any way.
In the brief it suggests that the price of biodegradable laminate is very high, so it would be useful
if we could find an alternative or a solution to it to save money.
The main condition is that we get the product finished within a 9 week time scale. I would not
conceder changing that because I think that 9 weeks is very reasonable, and enough time to
get it finished.
What opportunities could this brief allow you to explore? Be specific with your responses. This
brief is quite different to others you have come across and offers lots of new experiences. Check
the unit overview to help you with this.
I will learn much more about team work and communication skills from working on this project.
Learning new skills
I will learn how to use software on the computer that I have never used before. I may learn some more
about cooking if I decide to cook the food myself to take pictures of it.
In previous project we have only focused on one area such as photography or graphic design. During
this project we will look at all kinds of areas, including cooking, photography, graphic design and
Contributing to a brief
I will have the opportunity to contribute my ideas to the project as well as working with the clients
needs. This projects allows me some creative freedom. I may also be able to choose or negotiate
the recipes used for the cards.